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2019 scholarship recipients

In 2019 Rural Bank awarded 25 scholarships to students across Australia.

Meet our 2019 scholarship recipients

In 2019 Rural Bank awarded 25 scholarships to students across Australia. This included additional funding for 10 students from drought declared regions, part of Rural Bank’s commitment to supporting drought affected communities. The program received 190 initial applications, followed by a rigorous review process which lead to the final selection of this year’s outstanding recipients.

The growth of the Australian agricultural sector is dependent on the development of rural leaders who will be equipped to implement new ideas and embrace new technology. The Rural Bank Scholarship program provides financial support to kick-start long and fruitful careers and contribute to the growth of vibrant regional communities in Australia.

Angus Malmo
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Agriculture), University of Sydney

Angus grew up on a dairy-farm in north-eastern Victoria, then moved to a cereal and sheep property in the Riverina. Recognising the threat posed by poor food security and a growing population, he has enrolled in a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Agriculture) at the University of Sydney.

Angus believes that the agricultural industry needs to become more efficient in the use of resources. He hopes to use his problem-solving skills to contribute to increased efficiencies in production, and is working towards a career in agronomy, plant breeding and monitoring.

Having seen first-hand the effects of drought on rural communities, Angus has the drive and determination to make a difference.

Brodie Crouch
Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours), University of Queensland

Growing up on a dairy farm, Brodie witnessed first-hand the complex issues involved in efficient, sustainable agricultural production.

During his last year of high school, the family farm was drought declared leading to lowered production which was further exacerbated by an increase in grain price. This experience has strengthened Brodie’s concern about climate change and encouraged him to study a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) at the University of Queensland.

With a strong understanding of issues such as invasive species, water management and land use, Brodie is aiming for a career where he can facilitate collaboration between farmers and agribusiness to find the best methods to feed our population whilst preserving the environment.

Clara Davidson
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Charles Sturt University

Clara grew up on a sheep farm in central Victoria. She has already worked in the industry, both in dairy and cropping in Scotland during a gap year, and on a beekeeping and sheep farm back in Victoria.

Inspired by her father’s example of quiet commitment and dedication to farming, Clara is undertaking a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University. She is looking forward to learning the science behind the practice across different agricultural sectors, with a view to returning to work on the family farm and contributing to her rural community.

Clara wants to contribute to the development of new farming technologies that will assist farmers to work more safely, be more sustainably aware and increase yields.

Corey Cutler
Bachelor of Rural Science, University of New England

Growing up in the rural area around Bellingen, Corey studied agriculture at high school and has always been aware of farming’s significance to regional Australia. Through working on his grandfather’s farm and his first job as a farm hand on a fruit farm, Corey has developed an interest in plant and animal genetics.

Corey has enrolled in a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England, and subsequently hopes to take up a research or advisory role as an agronomist. Working within animal and plant production systems, his aim is to assist farmers in improving production.

Whilst not from a drought affected region, Corey co-ordinated drought fundraising at school and has a broad knowledge of the effects of drought on Australian agriculture.

Ella Sprunt
Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical), La Trobe University

Ella has lived on the family farm near Numurkah in the Goulburn Valley all her life. Her family has been significantly impacted by medical conditions and the gap in access to health services in rural and regional Australia, and this has motivated Ella to study a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) at La Trobe University.

Ella’s goal is to become a general practitioner so that she can provide first hand assistance to her local community, and she strongly believes in the importance of addressing mental health issues in farming communities. She personally experienced the emotional impact of drought when her fourth generation farming parents recently needed to consider selling their property.

Ella also aims to encourage and empower girls in rural communities to pursue careers in medicine or health sciences and believes that women should be equally represented and respected in this traditionally male dominated occupation.

Hamish Green
Bachelor of Agribusiness, University of New England

Hamish grew up on a mixed farming operation (cattle, sheep, grain and a finishing feedlot) which has been in his family for 85 years. The farm has been drought declared for several years, and this has contributed to Hamish’s belief in the importance of sustainable farming and agricultural practices.

Hamish is undertaking a Bachelor of Agribusiness at the University of New England and is planning a career in cattle production, focusing either in feedlots or the meat sector within the food industry.

Hamish believe that the Australian industry has the potential to produce the best meat in the world, and his goal is to help strengthen Australia’s global position in the market while finding new ways to increase productivity and manage the effects of drought.

Hayley Lewis
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

Hayley grew up on a farm in the Adelaide Hills where she spent most of her childhood and teenage years showing and breeding ponies as part of her family’s horse stud. She has been living away from home for over a year, more recently living on the Eyre Peninsula for most of 2018 before moving back to Adelaide to commence her university studies. She enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide after studying at agricultural high school in year 12 and developing a keen interest in agriculture.

Hayley aspires to become an agronomist with a focus on research into plant breeding and genetic modification, and she wants to play a role in developing more seasonally-resilient crops. Hayley also has an interest in agribusiness and may pursue this career option as her studies progress.

With a keen understanding of the challenges faced by Australian agriculture, Hayley is looking forward to contributing to future solutions for Australian producers.

Hayley Smith
Bachelor of Veterinary Science, James Cook University (Townsville)

Hayley has always been actively involved in her family's mixed farming enterprise on the Darling Downs in southern Queensland and showed an interest in the health and handling of animals.

After working as a station hand on cattle station in north-west Queensland during her gap year, Hayley has enrolled in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville. She aims to work in a rural practise treating large animals, particularly cattle and horses as well as small animals and pets.

Hayley is fully aware that veterinarians play a larger role in rural communities than just treating animals, as they play a major part in animal production systems which support primary producers and rural communities. As a vet, Hayley hopes to make a positive contribution to producers and the livelihoods of people in her local area.

James Leeder
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons), Deakin University

When he was younger James' family ran a mechanical repair business which relocated eight years ago when they began to grow organic cereal and produce beef.

Witnessing the challenges involved in starting an organic enterprise, and his continued involvement in the family repair business, led James to realise the importance of engineering and equipment in the production process and prompted him to study a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) at Deakin University.

James understands the demand for developing specific equipment for organic farming and intends to design these machines in an economical and cost-effective way. He is also interested in the development of fuel-efficient tractors and mass storage systems which would benefit various agricultural sectors, and after graduation wants to return and live in a rural Victoria.

James Lines
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

James grew up on the family sheep property in mid-north South Australia. He recently worked full-time on the farm during his gap year, a tough dry year feeding sheep both grains and hay during which he developed many skills including a 'Bachelor of Feeding'.

James has enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide and intends to return to work on the family property during study breaks. Upon completion of his degree, James will be looking for a role such as livestock health or nutritional adviser working in the livestock production field.

James also aims to advocate for rural and regional industries and communities through youth leadership programs such as the SA Youth Parliament and wants ensure that Australian farmers are at the forefront of scientific advancements which may increase productivity whilst maintaining sustainable practices.

John Schnelle
Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies, University of Sydney

John comes from a family of accountants in Corowa, New South Wales and has worked full time at a regional dairy farm in order to save money for his studies. Working with a local producer reinforced his view that small businesses within rural and regional Australia form the backbone of our nation.

John is enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies at the University of Sydney where he intends to major in professional accounting and agricultural and resource economics. To broaden his skill set, John will also undertake some agricultural subjects, with the aim of deepening his understanding of how agriculture intertwines with commerce.

With a deep understanding of agribusiness, John hopes to work and live in rural and regional Australia and contribute to the growth and resilience of these communities.

Kaidy Morgan
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

Kaidy was raised on a family cereal and livestock farm on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia where sustainable farming methods such as no-till farming and cover cropping are practiced. In 2016 she travelled to Ecuador as the only Australian participant on the Sustainable Summer Seeds of Change program, and since then Kaidy has completed two experimental research assignments about sustainable farming practices.

Her enrolment in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide was a logical next step. Kaidy is looking forward to gaining access to world renowned research facilities and developing her knowledge of soil research and biological aspects of the soil ecosystem.

Post degree, Kaidy intends to pursue further research opportunities in monitoring the effects of biological activity on soil health and productivity, and she hopes to develop realistic soil care strategies for commercial agriculture businesses.

Kayla Steinborner
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

Kayla’s younger years were spent on a farm where her interest in agriculture began, and her curiosity was further encouraged by an inspiring high school agriculture teacher. She was encouraged to work with a range of livestock and crops and participate in shows, events and judging. As the only female competitor in many of these events, Kayla developed a strong awareness of gender imbalance in the industry.

These experiences motivated Kayla to undertake a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide, after which she intends to study teaching to become a secondary-level agricultural educator.

Through this career pathway, Kayla hopes to inspire the next generation of young agricultural students, particularly females, to contribute to Australian agriculture.

Lachlan Quibell
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne

Having been born onto a dairy farm and lived in rural Victoria for most of his life, Lachlan has always been interested in agriculture. During his gap year Lachlan gained an additional perspective on the industry while working for a regional agricultural product and service provider.

Lachlan hopes that his enrolment in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne will unlock a variety of potential career pathways.

After graduation Lachlan intends to undertake additional study in aviation and obtain his pilot's license, and plans to combine this knowledge with his agricultural background to bring a modernised view of agriculture back to rural Australia.

Laura Purvis
Bachelor of Dental Surgery, James Cook University (Cairns)

Laura grew up on a 36,000-acre cattle property in regional Queensland and experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by rural communities in accessing high quality and consistent health services. Her family were often required to travel several hours to attend medical appointments.

Laura is also keenly aware of the impact of drought conditions on agricultural communities, with her family’s property forced until recently to drought feed at considerable cost for several years. These experiences, combined with her grandfather’s stories of his career as a dentist, have inspired Laura to undertake a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at James Cook University in Cairns where she will benefit from that institution’s focus on community outreach and rural placements. Laura’s goal is to return to regional Australia after graduation to bring professional dental healthcare and hygiene to communities where these services are currently lacking.

Leah Starick
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

Leah grew up on a pork and grain producing farm in South Australia which has faced a period of extreme pressure over the last two years due to drought conditions. A true family enterprise, Leah’s upbringing underpins her belief that agriculture in Australia is moving away from the traditionally male dominated career to one in which families, young adults and women can all be actively involved in farm life.

Enrolling in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide is a natural step for Leah, who intends to use the knowledge gained through her studies to help make farmers more productive, sustainable and profitable.

With a special interest in pork production, Leah hopes to attain a work placement with Pork South Australia and aims to become a leader in the pig industry.

Liam Donaldson
Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland

Liam grew up on his family’s grazing farm in the North West Slopes region of New South Wales, a drought affected area. During his gap year Liam worked on irrigated cotton farms, broad acre farming and mixed grazing operations and is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland in St Lucia with a dual major in plant science and chemistry.

With his family experiencing hardship due to drought, Liam is very conscious of the challenges facing Australia due to climate change, as well as other threats such as herbicide resistance, biosecurity and pasture dieback.

With an interest in perennial based subtropical grazing systems and dry-land and irrigated broad-acre farming, Liam hopes to contribute to the future of production agriculture by becoming a researcher, conducting scientific trials into plant biotechnology, pathology and genetic modification to better understand and prevent diseases and other stresses in plants to increase their value, nutrition and yield.

Lillian Donald
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts prior to commencing Doctor of Medicine, University of Queensland

Lillian comes from Gympie in the Wide Bay–Burnett region of Queensland. Her family’s experience of illness brought home the lack of specialist health care in regional areas and contributed to Lillian’s decision to study medicine.

With a plan to complete a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland in St Lucia majoring in mathematics followed by undertaking research for a Doctor of Medicine, Lillian is determined to become a general practitioner in rural Queensland.

Lillian aims to become a trusted confidant for the community on all matters of health and wellbeing, and hopes to pursue part-time research opportunities where they arise.

Lily Cullen
Bachelor of Veterinary Science, James Cook University (Townsville)

Growing up in a small town in Central Western Queensland, Lily’s family owned many small and large animal pets and livestock, including performance and race horses, cattle and working dogs. With a love of animals form an early age, Lily learned some basic procedures and medical applications from local professionals, and this nurtured her desire to pursue veterinary science.

Her chosen course is a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville which is over six hundred kilometres away from home.

As she has personally experienced the lack of access to veterinary treatment in regional areas, Lily is planning to return to rural locations after graduation and intends to travel, providing veterinary treatment for communities across Central Western Queensland and surrounds.

Lucy McGilvray
Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business, University of New England

Lucy’s love for the agricultural sector, and particularly the cattle industry, was nurtured during her upbringing on an isolated property in South West Queensland and strengthened during her gap year when she worked as a cattle station hand and contract mustering.

Experiencing the grit and determination of her community through the six tough years of drought has fostered Lucy’s deep respect for the resilience of agricultural workers and inspired her to enrol in a duel Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business degree at the University of New England.

During her studies, Lucy hopes to find employment on a sheep or cattle station and secure holiday work harvesting to diversify her knowledge base. Following graduation, she would like to work with a large agricultural company, or potentially enter the banking industry as a rural banker, using either avenue to provide support for farmers and graziers.

Lydia Paine
Bachelor of Veterinary Science, James Cook University (Townsville)

Lydia grew up on a drought affected property in Central West Queensland and travelled over 1,200 km to boarding school for her secondary education. Being surrounded by livestock and horses at home and undertaking work experience placements with various vet clinics cemented Lydia’s ambition to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a vet.

Choosing to study a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville allows Lydia to combine her passion for working with animals with her inquisitive, problem solving mind, and will ultimately enable her to live and work in a rural area.

Having seen first-hand the impact of veterinary skills and advice for livestock production businesses, Lydia’s goal is to start her own veterinary business in a rural area with a focus on large animals.

Madeline Goldsworthy
Bachelor of Agriculture, University of Melbourne

Growing up on a livestock and broadacre cropping farm in South West Victoria, Madeline was immersed from a young age in the intricacies of livestock production, crop yields and how to achieve the perfect grain harvest.

This background inspired Madeline to pursue a career in agriculture in order to contribute to the industry that has supported her for her whole life. Enrolled in a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne, Madeline’s focus will be on learning how to improve the sustainability and productivity of cropping and animal production.

While keeping her career options open at this stage, Madeline has the firm intention to return to her home region and work to improve the lives of primary producers in the community.

Patrick Heffernan
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Charles Sturt University

Coming from the sixth generation of a farming family, Patrick grew up on a grazing and cropping property in the Riverina region of New South Wales. Having experienced severe drought conditions which resulted in the farm’s poorest harvest in history, Patrick has first-hand understanding of how resilient agricultural communities can be.

Patrick’s goal in enrolling in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University is to bring back the knowledge he gains to the family enterprise. His focus is on contributing to the long-term sustainability of the agricultural industry by championing farming practices that support biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

Patrick also believes that encouraging diversification of employment in regional communities will be a factor in ensuring continued growth for the sector, as well as enhancing rural quality of life.

Pippita Terry
Bachelor of Health Science, Australian National University

Pippita grew up on her family’s cattle farm in the Northern Tablelands in northern New South Wales before moving to live overseas and then to boarding school. With personal experience of the lack of doctors and health professionals available in rural Australia, she has always been keenly aware of the need for doctors and health professionals, particularly females, in regional communities.

The Bachelor of Health Science degree in which Pippita is enrolled at the Australian National University in Canberra offers a potential pathway to study postgraduate Medicine as a regional student with a strong emphasis on rural and indigenous health.

Pippita is driven by her knowledge that all members of agricultural communities, not only producers, contribute to the success of Australian agriculture. She intends to work as a general practitioner in a regional town and work towards closing the health gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

Samuel Hill
Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness), LaTrobe University

Growing up on a dairy farm, Samuel was involved in the family’s selective breeding program from a young age and as a result has developed a strong interest in the science of cattle genetics. Through his connections in the local community, Samuel has identified a need for off farm assistance and financial planning to enable production businesses to become more efficient.

Enrolled in a Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) at LaTrobe University, Samuel aspires to a career in rural banking or in product development for dairy genetics.

Hoping to eventually return home to the family farm, Samuel aims to use his education to contribute to the continued production of high-quality cattle and would like to explore the possibility of developing a ‘Post Farm Gate’ side to the business.

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